Hummingbirds, young and old, are crowding around feeders in the Bitterroot Valley. Bob Danley on this week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal said that the numbers have been increasing as the temperatures rise. The photo included (see above) gives you some clues on how to identify which species of bird you're being buzzed by. The photo is of a black-chinned hummer that constantly flip their tails while flying or hovering. If feathers on the head are brown-tipped - that's a young bird. The larger Rufus hummingbirds are often the ones crowding out others at the backyard feeders.

Bob caught sight of a Monarch butterfly (photos below). Their population has been declining in the Bitterroot and the Western U.S. A Ravalli County Monarch Butterfly group is planting more milkweed in areas (including the MPG Ranch). That plant is the Monarch's main food choice. Bob also saw a member of the second-largest butterfly species in North America - the Two-tailed Swallowtail and added six butterfly species in a busy week of discovery. Meanwhile, dragonflies are busy in the wetlands, including the Lyre-tipped spreadwing (photo below). You might see quite a few of them. It's about an inch and a half long and the wings are held away from the body in a "V" shape when it's perched.

Wildflowers this week include Lousewort. Bob included four examples of Bracted, Coiled, Elephant's Head and Leafy. They can get up to 30 inches high and there are 36 species in the U.S. Down on the ground, we feature the Russula Bicolor mushroom, with its yellow center and pink and red edges (Photo below). It can be found in old growth forests. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings at 7:45 a.m. on 1240 AM KLYQ radio and We often repeat during the Friday morning Event Show, which runs from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

monarch butterfly
Monarch butterfly. (Bob Danley photos)
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing Dragonfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Four types of lousewort. (Bob Danley Photos)
russula mushroom
Russula fungus. (Bob Danley Photo)